Kansas rifle "any deer/any sex" Eastern zone tag drawn

kansasdad

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Kansas residents can get OTC whitetail tags anywhere licenses are sold, but to hunt mule deer with firearms, you must apply in the draw (Archery "any deer" is OTC, but requires archery only hunting, even in muzzleloader and rifle seasons). There are two zones for the any deer tag.....western and eastern. The western units all touch Colorado, while the eastern units are the next ones east of them.

I knew that kansasson and I were going to Wyoming in September, and knew that the odds for drawing an eastern zone any deer tag is low (around 100 tags up for lottery, while western zone is closer to 1600-ish) so I threw my hat into the ring just to get the point. And then the purpose of this thread.......I drew the tag.

I have been working my personal connections for intel on where to find mule deer in my zones, with some promising leads. Many years ago I could have had the best informants a guy could ever wish for.......my dad taught vet medicine at K-State, and thus knew almost all the vets practicing in Kansas. Now many of his students are retiring (and snowbirding in Arizona!)

I have hunted NW Kansas for turkeys, killing my first bird north of Hays, back in the day. The hills up and away from the whitetail river corridors will be fun to explore as I try to find a needle in a haystack, and get my first ever Kansas mule deer.

Should any HuntTalkers wish to point me in certain directions to explore, let me say I'm all ears and down for any PM intel you wish to share.

As with all Kansas deer firearms seasons, the Wednesday after Thanksgiving is the opener, with two full weekends after that to do the deed. Upland season will have been pushing deer around for three weeks or so when the season starts, with archery hunters having a go for the last two months, the deer will generally be on high alert. I look forward to the challenge.
 

maconbacon

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Nice! I didn’t draw my tag this year, figure more are people putting in this year than usual. Could tote the muzzleloader out there on an OTC tag but that involves driving 4 hours past a ton of huge whitetails so I’m east hunting them this year.

good luck!
 

kansasdad

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Getting some intel from active and sidelined HuntTalkers which is confirming my research on the subject of muledeer in Kansas. On-X pins are being dropped in WIHA that show promise.

A friend sent a photo of a nice 4x4 mulie taken last weekend near where I've dropped some pins. I'd just as soon that we get some rain, but if we don't, water is going to play a part in my strategy to locate some bucks.
 

Fehrenbl

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Oct 25, 2020
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Kansas
I put in for the either species/sex tag every year.. Not much help in the eastern units, since I hunt unit 17, but have had a lot of luck glassing WIHA CRP looking for antlers of bedded muleys. Thats how I got this guy last year! OnX is a great tool for finding WIHA spots. IMG_20191213_185651_956.jpg
 

kansasdad

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I put in for the either species/sex tag every year.. Not much help in the eastern units, since I hunt unit 17, but have had a lot of luck glassing WIHA CRP looking for antlers of bedded muleys. Thats how I got this guy last year! OnX is a great tool for finding WIHA spots. View attachment 159317
That Photo will get me salivating some....

My On-X is getting lots of “need to check this WIHA” waypoints already. And the Outdoors Mentors connections have had some suggestions.

@Southwind sent me an archery mule deer from this fall. Bruiser!
 

kansasdad

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Miss Corona has come to Wichita in general and in particular, my house. Mrs kansasdad is presumed positive (test administered Monday, no results yet) and kansasdaughter2 is verified positive. I am waving at them from the other side of the house, and for sure don’t want to go on a scouting trip this weekend.

Pheasant and quail opener as well as SE zone for waterfowl is today, so I imagine the gusty winds, first from the south this morning and then turning 180 degrees and howling from the north made upland hunters unhappy.

I have scoured On-X for WIHA areas that would likely hold mule deer. And I’ve been pointed to a couple spots by folks who’ve hunted deer out there for years. One of the impoundment public wildlife areas has come strongly recommended for both whitetail and mule deer possibilities.

For now, my biggest hurdle is to keep Miss Corona off of me, for health and job considerations.


PS: my south central archery hunting friends are telling me that the chase is on, seeing lots of deer during non-deery hours.
 

kansasdad

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A few thoughts/images from yesterday's armed hike (no mule deer seen)

Whitetails are still acting rutty.....chasing, sparring and tail sniffing activity

Early settlers found few trees to build homes, so sod homes were often used by the homesteaders getting started. They also used cut limestone in home construction, and especially for fence posts. Few remnants of sod homes remain, most of the stone homes are no longer inhabited, but the fence posts remains, some of them in use, and some with modern additions.

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I do feel like I had a big victory right at sunset. I was seeing whitetails come out of the abandoned homestead, not big or close enough that they would tempt me to take one, when the miracle occurred......

the evil covey of quail that had laid their ambush along the wheatfield/CRP edge had finally decided that I wasn't going to come closer, and decided to bust out of there, with me 30 yards away, NOT STARTLED!!

In summary, I had a fantastic afternoon exploring a new-to-me part of Kansas, I was able to cross off some WIHA areas as unlikely to hold mule deer, and as always, it was soul restoring to listen to the song of the prairie sing its afternoon/evening song.
 

TLowell02

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Jul 29, 2015
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271
Location
Sedan, NM
Good luck! I helped a resident friend fill his either-species tag with his first mule deer on opening day. I've stuck around to chase birds with little to show for my efforts except beautiful prairie views and some happy dogs.
 
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